The 26th century is a dangerous place, especially if you happen to be a cyborg heroine who hunts bad guys across a post-apocalyptic landscape. Within the last month, Alita: Battle Angel has recruited Deadpool star Ed Skrein and Watchmen star Jackie Earle Haley to play two of the technologically-enhanced villains that the eponymous protagonist will go up against. Now there's word that Luke Cage star Mahershala Ali is currently in negotiations to join Alita: Battle Angel as the third baddie to give her trouble.

Mahershala Ali Luke Cage

If cast, THR says that Ali will play Vector, who runs and fixes the matches for Motorball, a gladiator-style combat game that's popular in this universe. Fox didn't comment about this casting report, but with production kicking off later this month in Austin, Texas, ideally we'll know soon enough whether Ali is joining or not. Assuming a deal is worked out, he will be the sixth actor to join Alita: Battle Angel's cast, following behind Skrein, Haley, Rosa Salazar as Alita, Christoph Waltz as her mentor Dr. Dyson Ido and Keean Johnson as her friend/love interest Hugo.

As mentioned earlier, Alita: Battle Angel will be set hundreds of years in the future, with Alita herself waking up in a scrap yard with no memory of her past life, but still retaining her amazing martial arts skills, which she'll promptly put to use as a bounty hunter. In the original Battle Angel Alita manga, Vector sells human body parts and organs to those who will pay top dollar, and for anyone who crosses him, he has a number of cyborg goons by his side to back him up. He also has the uncanny ability to tell whenever someone is lying to him, which resulted in him gaining a lot of power. All this, along with his Motorball operation, suggests that he could be the movie's main antagonist/ Since Ed Skrein's Zapan and Jackie Earle Haley's still-unnamed characters are cyborgs, they'll also likely be his main enforcers, sent to rough up anyone who interferes in Vector's work, including Alita.

Mahershala Ali has built a solid acting career across both movies and television over the last 15 years. On the big screen, his notable credits include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2, Free State of Jones and the upcoming Hidden Figures. On the small screen, he had prominent roles on The 4400, Alphas and House of Cards. He can currently be seen in the Netflix series Luke Cage playing Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes, owner of the popular Harlem's Paradise nightclub and notorious gangster.

Directed by Robert Rodriguez, Alita: Battle Angel hits theaters on July 20, 2018. Let us know what you think of Mahershala Ali potentially joining the main cast in the comments below.

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